For Rod, Christmas-time is a time when the smells of vanilla, almond, ginger, and lemon are wafting through the house: Christmas cookies… and above all, Monica’s ginger snap pizzelle, with powdered sugar sprinkled on top! The pizzelle are wafer-thin! And… “Before I know it the delicate treat is devoured. Thank goodness there are so many!”…
…the recipe is Monica’s invention: “For years I have made pizzelle as one of my holiday cookies: the recipe has been in my family since before I can remember, and can be made with a variety of different extracts. Lemon, orange, vanilla, almond and anise were the ones I recall form my childhood. As I got older… I found that the one flavor missing from my holiday cookie trays was ginger, so… I decided to cross breed the zesty gingersnap with the crisp and light pizzelle. Here is the result…”
The yield is dependent on the size of pizzelle iron. And it’s best to buy the ground ginger fresh, every season.
MONICA’S GINGER SNAP PIZZELLE
1 cup butter, 2/3 cup sugar, 2/3 cup dark molasses, 6 eggs, 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 2 Tbsp ground ginger, 1 tsp ground cloves, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 3 Tbsp freshly grated ginger, powdered sugar to finish
Melt the butter, and allow to cool some – but not solidify.
Beat the eggs well, combine with the sugar and molasses, and beat again. Once incorporated, add the butter and vanilla slowly. It may look lumpy or coagulated. but that is ok. Add the dry ingredients a little at a time, in this order: both gingers, cinnamon, cloves, baking powder… if using a whip, switch to the wooden spoon to add the flour. Once all incorporated, the dough should be solid but very soft. It should be easy to form with spoons.
Allow the dough to rest briefly while you preheat your pizzelle iron for about 5-10 minutes.
Use two spoons to drop a large marble to golf-ball sized ball of dough on to each pattern of your pizzelle iron. If your iron is new to you, you can experiment with the proper quantity. You want the dough to press out to the edges but not overflow the iron when you close it. If it overflows it can be trimmed immediately while still hot and soft (if you wait too long the cookie will cool and become too brittle to trim.)
- Some irons have a “ready” light to let you know when it is done, but many do not. Just watch the steam coming from the dough. When it diminishes to almost invisible the cookie is probably done. You are looking for a golden brown color.
After the first five are done the iron will be at its typical heat and you can time the rest based on the perfect color in your iron.
After baking, remove each cookie immediately and trim if necessary. For maximum crispness allow to cool completely on the cooling racks before packaging.
Before serving, sprinkle each cookie with powdered sugar.